Thoughts on New and Senior Students

As you spend time training in martial arts, your skill set naturally grows and you progress from a beginning student to a more advanced student to a student approaching a Black belt level.  And once the Black belt level is achieved you realize just how much there still is to learn!  In martial arts (especially in traditional schools) senior students take on more and more responsibilities, particularly with regards to less advanced students. 

At Elite Training Center each program from Muay Thai to Krav Maga to MMA has a basic, advanced, and master’s path level, so as you move through those levels there will be several times when you are a “new” student and a “senior” student.  It is the responsibility of the higher belt levels to help the lower belt level students along.  It makes a lot of sense:  The more training partners of various sizes and strengths that you have, the more everyone’s training benefits, and everyone pushes each other to continue to progress.  In addition, working with new students helps you get to know people and builds the community and support system of the school itself. 

Recently I had two brand new students in my basic kickboxing class.  When it was time to pair up, two of the students due to test for their Orange belts in a few days’ time voluntarily went up the new people and offered to work with them before I even had a chance to make the pairing myself.  When I thanked them after class, both said that it had meant so much to them on their first day of class when they had had a more experienced partner.  Those senior students put the new ones at ease and even though their input with the techniques was important, what was more important was that they helped the newer students feel comfortable and more confident.  I had a similar experience my first day at Elite, and I’ve never forgotten how grateful I felt to be taken under someone’s wing for my first few classes. 

So give it a little thought:  At each point along your path in martial arts, after your first day of training, you will be more experienced than someone else…you will be a “senior” student to someone!  Remember how it felt and feels when someone with more experience than you gives you a little extra help or attention, and realize that you can give that great feeling to someone else.  As a student it’s your duty, but it’s also a privilege!  Keep seeing it that way and you’ll absolutely get more out of your relationships with your fellow students and school, and you will definitely have a more fulfilling experience in martial arts in general. 


Elite Training Center 1628 South Pacific Coast Highway,
Redondo Beach, CA 90277
(310) 543-1600

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